I had my first major failure of the August Challenge yesterday when I forgot to pack my already prepared lunch for work (sauted vegetables with organic ground beef and non local rice). Walked right out the door without it! The choice was to turn back and get it and be late for work, rush home at lunch hour and pick it up, and be late or to go to the local deli and buy a sandwich. The final option won out. I'll definitely try not to let that happen again. The good part is I got to eat the lunch for dinner.
The local cheese arrived via UPS. We had it shipped because it was just too far to drive to get to their farm store. Even though it was hot, the cheese came in an insulated container with freeze packs so it arrived in good shape. There is now Cave Rippened Cheddar, a cheese called Frolic, and another called Drumm. Should be enough for the whole month, but this stuff's expensive. Hopefully the taste will be worth it! On Sunday and Monday morning I also made a Melomel (Mead) from local honey and blueberries. It's fermenting in the basement (the yeast is not local) and should be perfectly aged by next year's August Challenge.
Next weekend is the NJ Wine and Food Festival at a park not far from home. I'll be coming back from a trip to Chicago, but we will try to make it. The local paper is already playing it up, but our experience there last year was a disappointment. Big crowds of people with kids in tow taking up space in front of every booth. Not easy to get a good bit sampling in, just a cheap day out with the kids for most. I'm sure this is a tough event to put together.
This is heavily touted as a NJ product event, but I'm not sure attending it and sampling and eating would qualify for the local challenge better than what we are already doing. To Sherry's comment to an earlier post all I can say is that I agree that the Dept of Ag could do a better job of promoting and in fact encouraging the use of actual local ingredients. Many, if not most NJ wineries do not grow their own grapes (our local one, Silver Decoy does). The restaurants that will be preparing food are being promoted as using local food, but we'll have to see if that's true. Hopefully, we'll be pleasantly surprised.
Now maybe this post will stir up some comments from the New Jerseans who are lurking out there?